The belief that all older people are hostile to technology is ageism and does not agree with the truth. The risk of digital exclusion is not primarily about age, but rather finance, knowledge and social networks.
What surprised me at first was that those aged 50 to 59 were the most negative and tired of digital technology. But it was probably because many of them worked from home, associate professor of health and care sciences and one of the researchers in the project.
Case researchers were already working on several projects on ageing, everyday technologies and social rights when the pandemic gained momentum. They quickly decided that they wanted to follow in real time how the use of digital technologies is changing, and a study was launched under the cooperation initiative “social rights, ageing and housing”.
The responsibility for digital competence lies largely with the individual
Previous research has shown that people within a generation share attitudes, but also that stereotypes often do not fit together on an individual level. The use and perception of a 70-year-old may be more akin to a 30-year-old than a peer-and vice versa. However, all generations agreed that the responsibility for acquiring digital skills lies largely with the individual.
“If you don’t have children, grandchildren or friends who can help you get started with a bank card, a cumbersome TV or a new mobile phone, it’s hard to find other help,” says Sofi fristedt.
Banks and authorities need to offer more support
One of the researchers ‘ calls was that banks, broadband companies, municipalities and authorities needed to offer more support and simpler IT services.
– This is a responsibility that they need to start taking, because the important result of the study is that there are large groups, not just the elderly, who do not keep up. Too many people are unable to keep up with the internet and other everyday technologies.
He says that many older people want to keep up with developments because it is often easier to match new technology with new digital services. If you inherit your grandchild’s old mobile phone, the latest version of your bank ID may not work-which is key to many important online services.